Beauty & Balance

From Beautyblender to First Aid Beauty: 8 Beauty Brands That Have Secretly Made It Big

In an indie-beauty dominated era, the brands that grow into the tens of millions in sales are few and far between.Brands as big as Rodan & Fields, the $1.5 billion skin-care business that recently attracted a minority investment from TPG Capital, are even rarer. But Rodan & Fields isn’t the only beauty business that has been able to scale quickly. Here are eight other beauty companies that have gotten big — well into the tens of millions — and managed to fly somewhat under the radar. BeautyblenderLaunched in 2007 by makeup artist Rea Ann Silva as a hot pink teardrop-shaped makeup sponge, Beautyblender has grown into a full-fledged business — industry sources said the company did $150 million in retail sales in 2017. The business started in professional stores but took off once the sponges landed in Sephora. Today Beautyblender is sold in 46 countries and planning expansion into new categories, including, natch, foundation.Beauty BioscienceBeauty Bioscience, maker of the GloPro micro-needling device, reached nearly $50 million in sales last year, according to industry sources. The brand has undergone rapid expansion in retail, online and in stockkeeping units. Now Beauty Bioscience is selling a nine-stockkeeping unit skin-care range in addition to its tools, and the brand has expanded into all doors of Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. Sources estimated Beauty Bioscience, with additional European distribution slated for later in 2018, could reach $100 million in sales for 2018.Dr. Dennis Gross SkincareThe skin-care line of New York derm Dennis Gross is said to have reached nearly $50 million in sales in 2017, according to sources. International expansion, including a launch at Selfridges, is driving sales, as are launches like the C + Collagen and additions to the hero Alpha Beta range. The brand is sold at Sephora, QVC, Net-a-porter, Mecca, Fenwicks and Cult Beauty.  Erno LaszloHeritage skin-care brand Erno Laszlo — known for providing regimens for Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and for John F. Kennedy Jr.’s back acne — is said to have reached around $100 million in sales. The business received an investment from Chinese private equity firm Citic in 2016, and has since accelerated growth in China, which comprises a significant portion of sales. Erno Laszlo has also entered the Amazon fray, and sells at Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew. The brand’s next launch is Firmarine Lift Essence Lotion, $68.First Aid BeautyFirst Aid Beauty did more than $80 million in retail sales last year, according to industry sources, and is projected to reach more than $100 million for 2018, driven by sales at Sephora and Ulta Beauty. The brand’s growth was propelled by its core Ultra Repair skin-care range, as well as its Hello FAB line, which bridges skin-care and makeup with items like 3 in 1 Superfruit Color Correcting Cushion.ForeoThe Swedish beauty device business did more than $500 million in sales in 2017, and is on track to reach $2 billion in sales by 2020, according to sources. Foreo is stocked in more than 6,000 doors in 40 countries, including Sephora, Barneys New York and Cult Beauty. The firm has dipped its toe into products, with Day & Night Cleansers, and is launching sheet mask pods later in 2018 in connection with its next device — the UFO — which takes users through a full mask process in 90 seconds.Luminess Founded in 1997 by Sean Mehta, Luminess started by selling portable airbrush makeup machines via infomercial. A few years ago, the business expanded into other brands and categories. While the direct-to-consumer side still comprises the majority of Luminess’ $160 million in sales, the firm has branched into retailers like Walmart through Barely Sheer Tattoo Cover Up, $9.97, and Sephora and QVC with Conture, a $199 kinetic skin toning device.Milani Milani has been a breakout star in the mass market, growing around 25 percent to $105 million in net sales in 2017, with $38 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, according to industry sources. While its competitors struggled to find footing in an uneven U.S. climate, Milani, which targets multicultural consumers, resonated with bestsellers like Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer and Amore Matte Lip Creme. The brand is sold at Ulta Beauty, Target and Walgreens and on its own web site.

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